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Notice given 17 June 2003

1537  Senator Mackay: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—

(1) (a) How much money did Telstra spend on advertising its specialised services for the aged and disabled in the last year; (b) what advertising medium did Telstra use to promote these services; and (c) where did Telstra predominantly advertise these services.

(2) (a) Where are the aged and disability managers located in Australia; and (b) how many staff work with the managers.

(3) (b) Will Telstra be training other staff in dealing with aged and disability problems; if so, where will these staff be located; and (b) how much training will be provided per staff member, for example, days or weeks.

1541  Senator Mackay: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—

(1) What measures does Telstra take to ‘lightning proof’ its cable network.

(2) Does Telstra know of any new technology that is available to minimise damage to cables from lightning strikes.

(3) What damage do lightning strikes do to cables and how does it affect services.

(4) With reference to the mass service disruption (MSD) notice declared in Tasmania in March 2003, which referred to a lightning storm on 19 March and declared an exemption from customer service guarantee (CSG) performance standards from Friday, 21 March, to Saturday, 29 March: What was the exact damage caused by this lightning storm (given the evidence to the Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts References Committee hearing in Launceston on 24 April 2003, in relation to the Australian telecommunications network inquiry, that this storm caused minimal damage in Tasmania).

(5) When and how did Telstra notify customers of this MSD in Tasmania.

(6) Were the CSG provisions adhered to in this case.

(7) Has Telstra paid any compensation to Tasmanian customers in respect of this case. 

1543  Senator Mackay: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—

(1) What is the process for clearing cash out of pay phones; and (b) how does Telstra know when a phone is ready to be cleared.

(2) Is it the case that when a coin box in a public phone is full that this means the telephone cannot be operated by someone attempting to use it with coins.

(3) When a ‘coin box full’ message is received at a Telstra call centre from a pay phone, how quickly does Telstra send out someone to clear this box.

(4) Who clears phone boxes.

(5) Is there any difference in the timeframe or process for doing this in metropolitan areas or regional areas; if so, can details be provided.

(6) What does Telstra say about reports that Telstra does not act on this information until the third ‘coin box full’ message is received. 

1545  Senator Mackay: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—

(1) How much notice did Telstra give its ‘communic8’ customers in Southern Tasmania that the promotion providing free 15 minute calls to other Telstra mobiles would not be renewed after 15 February.

(2) With reference to the statement by a Telstra spokesperson on 18 February 2003 in the Mercury that ‘there was a need to review the promotion’, has Telstra conducted the review; if so, what was the outcome. 

1547  Senator Mackay: To ask the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts—With reference to the use of encapsulant sealant gel:

(1) Does Telstra still stand by the statement that in 97 percent of cases where the gel is in place that it continues to work well.

(2) How much of the $110 million allocated to this program has been spent in the 2002-03 financial year.

(3) Has this funding level changed at all; if so, can details be provided.

(4) What is the sub-category of the domestic capital expenditure budget that this program is funded under.

(5) (a) Is it the case that if it is costing $110 million to fix 100 000 cable joints then each cable joint costs $100 000 to fix; (b) how was this figure calculated; and (c) can a breakdown of projected costings be provided.

(6) How many of these 100 000 joints identified have so far been fixed.

(7) (a) What are the geographical locations that are priorities for the repair of the 100 000 joints which have been targeted for remedial action; and (b) can a list of priority location areas be provided.

(8) (a) Is Perth one of the priority areas under the Telstra program; and (b) how many cable joints have been repaired in Perth under this program.

(9) (a) Are there still 100 people across Telstra exclusively focusing on identifying, prioritising and repairing cable joints where the gel has degraded the network; and (b) have any of these 100 people been moved from cable rehabilitation to other fault repair work this year for any period of time; if so, how many and where, and for what periods of time.